Cavachon Dogs 101

Updated October 16, 2022
Baby Boy And Woman With Dogs On Field

The cavachon isn't known as a pure breed. Rather, it's a designer breed that was developed to not only reduce genetic health concerns but also to be a loving companion. Cavachons are known to be fluffy, sweet-tempered dogs and are the perfect companion for the right family. They're easy to train, and they're always happy to be with their people. If you're looking for a good family dog, this could be your best bet.

Origin and History

Although the cavachon is a relatively new breed, they do have some history. The first Cavachon was developed in the late 1980s, and their name comes from their parentage: they were created by crossing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a Bichon Frise.

This combination was made for those looking for a dog with the charm of a toy, but with more size. The goal was to create an affectionate, loyal dog that could be kept indoors as well as outdoors.

Breed Characteristics

Because the cavachon is a combination of two separate breeds, there is no authoritative breed standard for them. However, there are some very basic guidelines for the desired traits and temperament cavachons should have.

Appearance

Cavachons tend to have soft, silky coats with slight waves. Colors include:

Cavachon puppy running
  • White
  • Apricot and white
  • White with black, or black and tan markings

Hypoallergenic

As with several designer dogs, some breeders and owners assert that these dogs are hypoallergenic to some degree. As a result, they may cause a less severe reaction in people who have dander allergies because they are usually low-shedding dogs. No dog is truly hypoallergenic, but a Cavachon may be an acceptable choice for a household with members suffering from allergies.

Size

Cavachons are small dogs, which makes them a nice choice for people who live in apartments or smaller houses, as well as for people who travel extensively in recreational vehicles. When a cavachon dog is fully grown, it tends to range in height from 12 inches to 13 inches. Most cavachons wind up weighing between 10 to 18 pounds, though their adult weight can be a little greater than this.

Cavachon Temperament

If you're looking for a guard dog, this designer combination is definitely not the right choice for you. Rather than being suited to protection work, cavachons are quite the opposite. They are gentle, accepting, and tolerant (for the most part). This makes them a good pet option for families with children as well as for households that are already home to other pets.

Cavachons tend to be cute, friendly animals that can make excellent companion animals for the right person or family. They have loving personalities and form close bonds with their human companions. They crave companionship and attention, and they like to be active. If you want a small pet that will be an affectionate and loyal sidekick, a cavachon might fill the bill.

Attention Needs

Cavachons tend to be cute, friendly animals that can make excellent companion animals for the right person or family. They have loving personalities and form close bonds with their human companions. They crave companionship and attention, and they like to be active. If you want a small pet that will be an affectionate and loyal sidekick, a cavachon might fill the bill.

Cavachon puppy lying on couch

Grooming Requirements

Even though Cavachons have quite a bit of hair, they do not shed very much. Even though they have a tendency to shed less than some breeds, these dogs are quite hairy, so grooming is a must. Without proper care, their coats can become quite matted and dirty. You'll need to plan on devoting time to brushing your pet regularly or to paying for frequent grooming care. Some of these dogs may require trimming from time to time.

Exercise Requirements

Cavachons are generally energetic, but not hyperactive. Moderate daily exercise is usually enough to help them burn off some of their excess energy. A daily walk and a game of fetch or some other activity will provide some mental stimulation, as well.

Two Cavachon puppies playing

Cavachon Health

Cavachons tend to have many of the same health problems shared by other small dog breeds.

Common Concerns

Typical health concerns to be aware of include:

  • Heart murmurs: Heart murmurs in dogs can be a symptom of a few different conditions, including mitral valve insufficiency and left ventricular hypertrophy.
  • Flea allergies: If your dog is suffering from this type of allergy, he or she will likely have red patches of skin that are itchy and irritated. These patches may also have hair loss, scabs, and even bleeding.
  • Eye ulcerations due to hair rubbing the corneas

Ear Infections

Cavachons have a proclivity for ear infections because of the hair that grows inside of their ears. Owners need to be prepared to clean their dog's ears on a weekly basis and watch diligently for any signs of infection. Use Oti-Clens or another canine ear cleaning solution several times each week as a preventive measure. If an ear infection does develop, you'll need to seek veterinary care for your pet.

Lifespan

It's difficult to predict the average Cavachon lifespan since it is a mixed breed, but in general, you can expect a cavachon to live between 10 to 15 years.

Two Cavachon pups on table

Cavachon Puppies

Be sure you are prepared for the responsibility of caring for a puppy before bringing a young cavachon into your home.

Need TLC

Coming from a mixed line of two toy breeds, Cavachon puppies are still relatively small when they're old enough to go to new homes, typically weighing around 4 to 5 pounds. They need to be handled with care, and it's best to crate-train them so they have a secure place to sleep.

Focus on Early Training


These puppies are smart and relatively quick learners, but you need to be very consistent during training so your pup understands what you want. Cavachons learn best when the training is initiated very early on. The earlier the pup is introduced to obedience training and socialization, the faster and more effective the results will be.

Choosing a Healthy Cavachon Puppy

Before you choose a puppy, make sure there are no obvious signs that the animal is sick. The signs of a healthy Cavachon puppy include:

  • Pink, clean gums
  • Pale pink, clean inner ears
  • Clean, shiny, and thick coat
  • Clean, dry tail and anal area
  • Bright, clear eyes
  • Alert and curious behavior
  • Clean, moist nose

Finding Reputable Cavachon Breeders

Some breed clubs offer a list of approved breeders, but unfortunately, this isn't the case with cavachons. This means you'll have to seek out breeders and screen them on your own to make sure you're getting a healthy, well-socialized puppy or adult dog.

Sometimes the best way to find a breeder is through a referral from another Cavachon owner, and you can connect with other fanciers of these dogs through Facebook's Cavachon Forum. There are also breeder websites that offer puppies a health guarantee. It's best, however, to use caution when making online purchases.

When speaking to breeders, be aware that asking certain questions can help reveal if they are following ethical guidelines. Breeders who have a high number of litters a year, work with an unusually large mix of breeds, or who don't offer adequate information about health and parentage, may not be what you are looking for. It is up to you to perform your due diligence and figure out what breeding standards are appropriate.

Questions to Ask the Breeder

  • How long have you been breeding cavachons?
  • How often do you have litters?
  • Do you breed any other dogs?
  • Are the pups or dogs socialized?
  • Has the pup or dog been seen by a veterinarian yet?
  • Which vaccinations has the puppy or dog received?
  • Has the dog been de-wormed?
  • Have any of the puppies from the litter been sick?
  • Does the breeder supply a health guarantee?
  • What is the dog's family history?
  • Can you see the dog's parents?
  • Which type of food is the puppy or dog currently eating?
  • Does the breeder belong to a breeder's club?
  • Can the breeder provide you with a list of references from recent sales?
  • Does the breeder require you to spay or neuter the dog by a certain age?

Questions a Reputable Breeder Should Ask You

  • Have you ever had a dog before?
  • If so, which type and for how long?
  • What type of house or apartment do you live in?
  • If you live in an apartment, does your landlord allow pets?
  • Do you have any other pets?
  • Do you have a fenced-in yard?
  • Do you leash your dog when you take them for a walk?
  • Do you have any children?
  • If so, how many and what are their ages?
  • Are the children educated about dogs and how to treat them?
  • Are you planning to spay/neuter your dog?
  • Are you familiar with the dog laws in your community?
  • Do you plan to train your puppy in basic obedience?
  • Can you afford the costs associated with raising a puppy?
Cute Cavachon puppy

How Much Does a Cavachon Puppy Cost?

If you're looking for a Cavachon dog for sale, pricing will vary by breeder. In general, you can expect to pay from $400 to $900 for a cavachon puppy. However, pricing can run as high as $2,200 or more.

Will a Cavachon Dog Be a Good Fit for You?

Take the time to learn more about puppy behavior before making a firm decision. When you're certain that this is the right kind of canine companion for your household, locate a reputable breeder or a cavachon rescue with cavachon puppies for adoption to choose your new pup. This is a wonderful mixed breed, but make sure you're ready to care for them and provide for their needs. If you are, you'll find yourself with a wonderful canine companion.

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Cavachon Dogs 101